Miners lead gains as war and rate hikes rattle nerves - Financespiders

Miners lead gains as war and rate hikes rattle nerves - Financespiders

Gains in banks, energy, and mining stocks lifted Asian equities a little higher on Tuesday as investors braced for aggressive U.S. rate hikes and war disrupting oil supplies. Oil futures rose nearly 3% to a two-week high in Asia.

The yen fell through the key 120 level against the dollar for the first time since 2016 and Treasuries extended losses after U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Monday flagged a more aggressive tightening of monetary policy than previously anticipated.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.2% led by gains in Australia’s miner-and-bank heavy index <.AXJO, which hit a two-month high. [.AX] Japan’s Nikkei rose 1.7% to 27,276. [.T]

“This very sharp spike in commodity prices is actually having relatively mixed impacts ... because we have some notable commodity exporters in this region, who would possibly stand to benefit,” said Manishi Raychaudhuri, Asia-Pacific equity strategist at BNP Paribas.

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Meanwhile, “investors are coming to terms with the fact that the developed markets’ central banks would normalize monetary policy,” he said. Powell had sparked a bond rout overnight after he told the National Association for Business Economics the U.S. central bank was prepared to do what it takes to combat inflation and that bigger-than-usual hikes would be deployed if needed.

Treasuries and U.S. stock futures remained on edge, with S&P 500 futures down 0.3% and rates-sensitive Nasdaq 100 futures down 0.4%. Benchmark 10-year Treasury yields hit an almost three-year high of 2.3330%. [US/] Fed funds futures are now pricing a two-third chance of a 50-basis-point rate hike in May.

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The Japanese yen, also sensitive to rising U.S. rates, fell past 120-per-dollar briefly and last bought 119.90. [FRX/] Chinese markets, on the other hand, are awaiting policy easing after it was flagged by authorities last week. China’s blue-chip index opened 0.2% lower while Hong Kong’s benchmark Hang Seng Index rose 0.7%. Source: Reuters

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